Nature New Year

We decided to start the new year exploring Nature in Sri Lanka’s second largest wetland habitat, the Madu Ganga. It’s said one if the last remaining pristine mangrove forest in Sri Lanka. The Madu Ganga ecosystem is an internationally recognized wetland, known for its biodiversity. The locals make their living through fishing, aquaculture, rice paddies, cinnamon farming — and of course, tourism.

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20140101-195145.jpg(That’s a Nil Manel or Blue Lotus in the last shot)

There are 64 Islands in the wetland, some inhabited by people, some not. One housed a now-abandoned Hindu temple, another houses the tranquil Kothduwa Buddhist Temple (giant Buddha, Bodhi tree and all).

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We got blessings from a monk, for the New Year, as indicated by the white threads tied around our right wrists.

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In the Bodhi Tree and in the rafters of the assembly hall, we saw our first “grizzled giant squirrels“, what some locals claim to be the national animal of Sri Lanka.

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20140101-193422.jpg (yeah, the last one is high-fiving me!)

I’ll post photos of the other critters we met separately, so come back for more (lizards, birds, baby croc, flesh-eating fish, etc.)!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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